Tuesday, 25 November 2014

chatting with Mr. Peacock at Walkers

How do you chat with a peacock? Yesterday I was at the Walkers Nurseries garden centre (those of you following on Instagram should be well familiar with that place by now). After enjoying a latte while reading a magazine, I grabbed my camera to walk among the plants. That's when I met this guy, Mr. Peacock, my new best friend in South Yorkshire.
He was just casually walking on the pavement towards me and I asked him what he was up to. He told me he was just chilling, and looking for a peahen, but perhaps something got lost in translation.
He wasn't exactly ready to stand still for a photo; he was more for walking rather fast straight towards the camera. Then he asked me to follow him so he could show me his bachelor pad.
That's Mr. Peacock in his home, inside Walkers Nurseries, showing off his beautiful feathers.
I snapped this photo when he told me to take a better look.
When I asked him how he spent his day, besides casually walking around in the hope of finding a peahen, he said he liked admiring himself in the mirror. Completely understandable!

Did you know that the average life span of peacocks is 20 years? I don't know how old Mr. Peacock is. I will remember to ask him next time.
photo credit:
Lisa Hjalt
- November day at Walkers Nurseries, Blaxton, Doncaster, South Yorkshire

Monday, 24 November 2014

holiday decorations in a Swedish kitchen

Next Sunday marks the First Sunday of Advent. Keeping an advent wreath is a tradition that I'm brought up with and have continued since I left home. I haven't decided the look of this year's wreath - only that I want white candles - but the children have already started asking me about it so I'm collecting ideas. I have a crush on the one in the above photo. This black and white, and slightly rustic, kitchen is in Sweden and the owner uses an old copper pan to hold the candles, and decorates it with evergreens and wooden sticks or branches. So simple, yet perfect! I wish I could do something like that and keep it in the kitchen window, but we have two Persian cats that often entertain themselves by sitting on the windowsill, watching the birds. One of them has already made an attempt to burn its tail with a candle so I'm not taking any chances. I think I need smaller and wider candles in a glass container, something similar to the ones in the below photo. Do you make your own advent wreath or do you buy it?
photo credit:
Sköna hem

Friday, 21 November 2014

space: Thomas O'Brien's country living room

Designer Thomas O'Brien has a country home in Long Island, called The Academy, built in 1833 as a school for boys. In the 1920s it was extended and turned into a residence. O'Brien bought the house in 2000 and renovated it. The living room, also a dining area, is the school's original classroom, a space all mismatched and disconnected when O'Brien bought the house. He has turned it into a beautiful living room, using a central table to divide it, and opening it into the front hallway. The house is featured in a book written by the designer, American Modern (one of the favourites on my coffee table), which shows many angles of this space and various details. The styling of the space is what interests me the most; the mixing of vintage modern furniture and arrangement of decorative objects. I like how O'Brien uses trays for both books and decorative objects. It's a detail you will often come across in his work and something that I have borrowed from him. If you think about it, usually dining tables have a bowl or some other piece in the centre. By using trays instead you can add more life to a dining table and the trays are easily removable when you need the table for entertaining.
What I also like about the space is the fact that the television is not a central piece, but nests in a built-in bookcase in one corner. If there is anything that makes my design heart ache nowadays, it's how most people seem to push a sofa as close up against a wall as possible with a TV on an opposite wall, as if their entire world evolves around the telly. I don't mean to offend anyone but if the television is the first piece you notice when you walk into your living room then I suggest you either rearrange it or throw the TV out. I'm just saying.

Have a wonderful weekend!

photo credit:
Laura Resen for the book American Modern by Thomas O'Brien, published by Abrams

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Scicluna Deli, Doncaster

I just got back home and perhaps you have already seen these photos on Instagram but I just had to share them here as well. We had to run some errands in the city and my husband took a wrong turn, so we ended up in a different parking lot. He realised he didn't have enough coins so he went to get some change. It was then that he stumbled upon the Scicluna Delicatessen in the centre of Doncaster, just around the corner of Market Place, where the old restored Corn Exchange building stands (it houses the Doncaster Markets that have been there since the 1870s). I love buying nuts and grains in bulks so this shop was heaven-sent! And yes, they sell coffee too.
Just recently we have been looking for items in the grocery stores in the area that we need for certain oriental dishes that we like preparing. We had no luck and talked about the need to find an Indian or any oriental market in the area. We found it all in the Scicluna Deli this morning. My brain was actually too busy registering the variety of products in there and I couldn't remember half of the things we needed. There was a wall covered with bags of spices that had names that I haven't even seen before. What I'm trying to say here is that I love this deli. It's officially my favourite shop in the city and I'm returning soon … with a shopping list!

photo credit:
Lisa Hjalt (snapped with my tablet)